Ali: Brandeis Offered ‘Very Feeble Excuse’ to Rescind Honorary Degree
'We send our kids to school so they can be confronted with ideas that they are not comfortable with'
BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
April 9, 2014 10:00 pm
Women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali appeared on The Kelly File to discuss her response to the “regrettable” decision by Brandeis University to cow to Islamic pressures and not give her an honorary degree and speaking platform at the graduation ceremony.
The Somali-born Ali has spoken out against such atrocities as honor killings and genital mutilation and been the subject of intense criticism by Muslims. She called the idea that Brandeis was suddenly made aware this week of some of her past controversial statements “a feeble excuse.”
“What surprised me is the decision by Brandeis first to say we want to give you this honor,” she said. “We know what you do, and in the age of Google, all of that is out there. It’s all public, and to come around and say we really didn’t know some of these things, I think it’s a very feeble excuse. I don’t want this to distract us from what I wanted to say during that commencement, which is to tell these students how incredibly privileged they are, especially the female students among them, that they are growing up in a world that is free where they have proper education. The way to get a better world, a world of peace, is to get the ability as young people to learn how to think critically. I know my presence for Muslims students at Brandeis is offensive, whatever they call it, insulting. It is controversial. But I thought that’s exactly what universities are for. We send our kids to school so they can be confronted with ideas that they are not comfortable with.”
Ali said the decision by Brandeis “made her sad” and was possibly done out of fear that there would be violent repercussions if she were allowed to speak.
“I think if you insult Jews in this country, if you insult Christians in this country, if you insult Mormons, I watched ‘The Book of Mormon,’ you will get people that will write to you about their outrage, but there is always this fear that if you insult Muslims, there is going to be some kind of violent repercussion,” she said. “That may have been part of the decision to do that, but they are not doing their students any favors and they are not doing the Muslim students any favors because to really be a simulated into American society, to become American is to accept the idea that you can have a robust debate and there is no other place better to do that than on university campuses, and the decision of Brandeis University is really regrettable. It makes me sad.”http://freebeacon.com/